Innovate UK launches two new SBRI competitions

Innovate UK has announced two new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competitions. The first competition aims to improve hip fracture outcomes while the second aspires to improve multimorbidity acute care.

The SBRI Programme

The SBRI programme provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector, in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The scheme is open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. However, it is best suited to SMEs.

SBRI: Improving Multimorbidity Acute Care Using Data Analytics, phase 1

Phase 1 will open from 4th January to 3rd March 2021. In this competition, organisations can apply for a share of £160,000 to develop a data-driven solution that improves the care and outcomes for A&E patients with multimorbidity. The solution must:

  • Identify multimorbidity patients
  • Provide individual risk stratification through real-time data visualisation
  • Provide decision support following an emergency admission.

Phase 1 projects can have total costs of up to £10,000, inclusive of VAT. They should start by 5th May 2021 and last up to 3 months. Contracts will only be awarded to single legal entities, but subcontractors are allowed. A decision to proceed with Phase 2 will depend on outcomes from Phase 1. For more information on eligibility and scope, and details on how to apply, visit Innovate UK.

SBRI: Improving Hip Fracture Outcomes Using Data, phase 1

Phase 1 will open from 1st February 2021 to 31st March 2021. In this phase, organisations can apply for a share of £160,000 to develop a solution that will improve the quality of care and outcomes for hip fracture patients. The solution should use routinely collected health data and data analytics techniques.

Phase 1 projects can have total costs of up to £15,000 and projects should last for up to 3 months. Funding is only available for single legal entities however the competition does allow subcontractors. Again, this is Phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition; a decision to proceed with Phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from this phase. You can find more information here.

If you have any questions about either of the opportunities above, please get in touch. In addition, you can sign up for our free monthly newsletter to receive grant funding opportunities direct to your inbox.

SBRI: using geospatial data to solve transport challenges, phase 1

Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million to develop feasibility studies for one of four themed challenges. Funded by the Geospatial Commission, this competition aims to identify innovative geospatial solutions to current challenges and enable the future of mobility.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from the first phase will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Your application must focus on at least one of the following themes:
  • Mobility as a service – Overcoming siloed transport networks by enabling more seamless and accessible integration of transport modes.
  • Active travel – Mitigating safety risks to promote active travel.
  • Supply chains - Tackling logistical challenges including planning distribution networks and routing, optimising storage and warehousing, and last-mile delivery to reduce freight transport costs.
  • Increasing capacity - Managing over and under-capacity to increase efficiency of our transport networks without compromising safety.
More information

The Geospatial Commission expects to fund around 30 projects. To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size and work alone or with other organisations. Contracts are available only for single legal entities, but subcontractors are also permitted.

Phase 1 contracts are for up to £75,000 for projects lasting up to 12 weeks. Projects should start by 4th January 2021 and end by 31st March 2021. Subsequently, phase 2 will award R&D contracts to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Funding of between £500,000 and £1 million will be allocated for each phase 2 contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for 12 months.

If you think you are eligible for this funding, apply through Innovate UK before 4th November. You can learn more about Innovate UK bid writing here.

Sort and segregate nuclear waste: phase 1

Nuclear waste signs on fence urging cautionThis is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Organisations can apply for a share of £3.9 million, including VAT, to develop an autonomous, integrated toolkit to sort and segregate nuclear waste. The aim is to reduce the level of waste requiring disposal, thereby increasing productivity, reducing costs, and improving safety.

Eligible projects will reduce waste by prioritising its recycling over its disposal, as well as reduce the number of waste sorting and segregation processes carried out by humans. Additionally, all projects should increase productivity and be scalable and transferable.

Applications must address all of the following:

  • detect the type and intensity of the radioactivity present using existing technology or off-the-shelf equipment
  • determine the composition, size, shape, and surface area of the material
  • sort and segregate the waste by radioactive classification and material type
  • remotely move the waste from a specific area, process it and then pack it into the appropriate container (for example, skips, drums, boxes or bags) ensuring the space used is optimised
  • collect and analyse data and images, and retain accurate records

This is Phase 1 of a 2-phase competition:

Phase 1: Research and Development contracts, feasibility study (this competition)
  • Up to £600,000, including VAT, is available for Phase 1.
  • Projects will last up to 3 months.
  • You must produce a technical feasibility study for an innovative and integrative solution to the problem.
Phase 2: Research and Development contracts, prototype development and testing
  • Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to take part in phase 2.
  • Up to £900,000, including VAT, will be allocated for each contract for up to 15 months.
  • You must develop and demonstrate a full-scale prototype in a non-radioactive environment.

This competition runs from 17th August - 11th November. For more information, please visit Innovate UK. If you think that you may be eligible for funding, contact us today to arrange a free consultation.

SBRI competition: using digital technology to support psychological therapies

NHS Scotland is funding a new Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. Organisations can apply for a share of £345,000 to fund digital technology projects with the potential to provide psychological support. Successful applicants will receive 100% funding and have access to advice from NHS Grampian.

This competition aims to increase the availability of psychological care at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital for children and young people with significant gastrointestinal symptoms but no underlying medical disease. Where there are no biomedical solutions, digital psychological support allows patients to self-manage symptoms and live a fuller life.


Innovate UK are looking for proposals that:

  • are interactive and engaging, and can be tailored to individual needs within general themes
  • embed sound psychological approaches to improve symptom management and wellbeing
  • will disrupt current clinical pathways in NHS Grampian and beyond, and transform clinical care to this population
  • use relevant NHS, academic and commercial expertise
  • have clinical and commercial potential locally, nationally and globally
  • are person-centred with the potential to co-produce solutions with both clinician and users, including CYP, parents and carers
  • detail creative, contemporary and engaging solutions targeted to CYP and families
  • can deliver an AI-driven psychological therapy service which consists of state-of-the-art technology that responds to the specific needs of young people at any given time.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. In phase 1, you must:

  • demonstrate the technical feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • establish ongoing collaboration between technical and clinical members of the project team
  • formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements, and contracts
  • submit an outline plan for phase 2.

Phase 1 projects should cost up to £10,000, including VAT. Projects must start by 21 October 2020 and last up to 3 months.

This competition is open from 20th July - 9th September. For more information, please visit Innovate UK. If you think that you may be eligible for SBRI funding, contact us today to arrange a free consultation.